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Amanda's Reviewed Picks By Category: Mystery/Thriller, Fiction, Social Issues, MemoirsPop Culture, True Crime, YA.

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Can't Help Myself: Lessons & Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist Cover Image
ISBN: 9781455543779
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 3rd, 2018

For fans of Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things!

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Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316551304
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - August 6th, 2019

Heartbreaking, infuriating, and incredibly well-researched. This book is very well organized, presented not only by the statistics, and the history, and the various ways the opiate addiction is dealt with from law enforcement to drug companies, to doctors, to prisons, and to the government, all which bear some blame, but from the viewpoint of the families who are living with the addiction, either battling it themselves, or watching loved ones succumb, or live in agony. Their representation, their voice, is what makes the book so very powerful.

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Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525434955
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - September 3rd, 2019

Pulitzer Prize winning author, Eli Saslow, diligently and fearlessly explores how Derek Black, once considered the heir to the white nationalist movement, was raised in a culture of intolerance, racism, and hate by his father, Don Black-- a former grand wizard of the KKK and creator of Stormfront. Only the persistent and dedicated efforts of his ethnic and minority friends at the New College of Florida prompted Derek to examine, question, and ultimately denounce the values and beliefs of which he was raised associated with White Supremacy. This book is vital to understanding that anyone can change when we take the time to talk to each other regardless of how difficult it may be.

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501161933
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Washington Square Press - May 29th, 2018

This book is so much more than what meets the eye. Evelyn's  story is one of being a woman in a man’s world, one of being a Cuban woman in a white woman’s world. She's played the Hollywood game, dated famous men to further her career, and used her body to get what she wanted. She has experienced the full force of the industry's sexism and, in some ways, capitalized on it. She is deeply flawed and aware of it. She has traded important aspects of her identity for more fame, more roles, more money, but now it is time to tell her whole story. She's ready to talk about the void, the unhappiness underneath the smile, her age, her divorces, and all the other unglamorous things that Hollywood likes to pretend never happens to its starlets. One of my favorite books of the year! 

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A Nearly Normal Family: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250204431
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Celadon Books - June 25th, 2019

A Nearly Normal Family is not your average legal thriller. There is a murder, a trial, and a who-dun-it,  but the family dynamics play an even greater role. The narrative is broken up into three parts, each sharing a different character's perspective, where we learn secrets from their past, how they are dealing with the crime, and some actions they took along the way. Just when you think you understand these characters, the way others view them opens up new understandings of their skewed sense of reality. A complex and multilayered story, which made me pause on more than one occasion to consider what I might do if presented with the same circumstances.

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Know My Name: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735223707
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Published: Viking - September 24th, 2019

I remember feeling inspired, impressed, and in awe of Miller’s victim impact statement as Emily Doe when it came out in 2016. Miller brings that same level of strength and eloquence to this stunning memoir. She takes back her power – after having been reduced to an unconscious victim – by writing beautifully and vulnerably about herself and her life, both before and after the assault. Her story shows us that we must do better, we must be better, in a society that so corruptly mistreats survivors of sexual assault.

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In the Dream House: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644450031
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - November 5th, 2019

Machado redefines what a memoir can be and do through her inventive and incredibly honest story that masterfully grapples with domestic violence in queer relationships. Her prose yet again blew me away, equal parts sensitive and staggering. Carmen's story is hard to describe due to its endless layers, but some words that come to mind are beautiful, devastating, lovely, strange, and utterly unique from any memoir I have experienced before. In the Dream House is essential reading that shines a light on an often neglected corner of the human experience.